Lindsay and Brian came down from Washington, D.C. for their destination beach wedding at the Don CeSar this spring…and what a beautiful and perfect day it turned out to be! With their closest friends and family in attendance, their wedding day was full of laughter and sweet moments that we were so happy to be a part of. Congratulations, Brian & Lindsay!! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and joy together!!
Venue & Catering: The Don CeSar Hotel
Officiant: Grace Felice, A Wedding With Grace
Videographer: Chuck Lewis, Hearts Video
Hair and Makeup: Beverly of Spa Oceana at the Don CeSar
Florist: FH Weddings & Events
DJ: Jeff Staples
Bride’s Dress: Nicole Miller
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Groom’s Suit: Calvin Klein
Amanda and Jim came down to Florida from Boston for their engagement session recently, and we had so much fun walking around downtown Dunedin just talking and getting to know each other. (Oh, and taking photos, of course!) 😉 They are planning their destination wedding for this Fall at the Museum of Fine Arts in St Pete, and we know it’s going to be AMAZING!
Congrats, you two!! We are so happy for you and can’t wait to see you again in just a few months!
Lisa and Robert’s story touched me to my core. Theirs is a story of love, hope, patience, and home. After delaying their marriage for a couple years so they could adopt a boy from Haiti (Haitian law requires one to be single or to have been married 5 years to adopt….they opted for Robert to adopt their third son as a single man before getting married), they decided to wait just a little bit longer so that they could get married in the home they had started building. (Can you imagine having that kind of love and patience! All three of their sons are so lucky to have them as parents!) Of course, there were delays in the home building and the months stretched on far past the originally planned finish date. But then…finally…they had a closing date. Once they received that long-awaited news, they set the wedding date!
With only about a month to plan their wedding, they quickly spread the word to their friends, hired their vendors, put the finishing touches on their new home, and pulled together a beautiful and elegant affair that touched the hearts of everyone who attended. Not only was it a celebration of their newly finished house, but a rejoicing of their newly completed family.
Congratulations, Lisa & Robert! It was such a joy to meet you both and be a part of your amazing day!! Wishing you and your beautiful family a lifetime of love and happiness together!
Jennifer and Ashley are planning their destination wedding for this summer in Playa del Carmen, Mexico….ummmm, AWESOME! We were so excited that they came to us for their engagement photos here in Tampa! These two are just so sweet together, and we had a great time walking around Davis Island and then down by the Tampa Theatre after the sun set. We asked them before their session what they love most about each other, and we just had to share their answers:
Jennifer says: “Ashley is such a southern gentleman. He is incredibly smart, thoughtful, charming and not bad to look at either I’ve never been so proud of another person in my life. He challenges me to be a better version of myself and we can always laugh at the silliest things together.”
Ashley says: “Tough to even begin this. Jennifer is the total package. She is caring, hard working, loving, gorgeous, athletic, & social…”
Congratulations, you guys!! We are so happy for you and can’t wait to hear all about your epic wedding in Mexico!
P.S. Sending a huge thank you to my sweet hubby, David, for helping me carry my gear and holding reflectors during this shoot! xoxo
We were recently asked by the folks over at Paperless Post to chime in with our opinion on creating the perfect save the date photo. If you haven’t heard of Paperless Post before, they are a great solution for sending out just about any kind of card, including wedding invitations and save the dates. (I, Shem, used one of their online options for my own wedding save the dates and it worked like a dream!) Whether you choose an online card or go with the more traditional paper option, you’re sure to find yourself wondering: how do I create the perfect photo for my save the date card?? This is such a great topic, and we wanted to share a few ideas and tips with all our readers!
So you’re engaged, you’ve set your wedding date and chosen your venue, and now it’s time to start letting all your guests know when they should expect to attend your big celebration! We have a few ideas to get your creativity flowing and your guests marking their calendars!
First Things First: Choose Your Photographer!
While it may be tempting to choose your photographer based purely on budget, or because your cousin used so-and-so for her wedding, it’s so important to find an engagement photographer (who will also most likely be your wedding photographer) whose work reflects your style as a couple. Find someone you can relate to, laugh with, and be yourselves in front of. This is KEY. If you can’t be yourselves, it will show in your photographs!
Choose Your Location
It’s true what they say….location, location, location! You might want a simple closeup of the two of you, but what if you wanted to show more of your surroundings? This important decision can make or break your photos! Here are a few ideas for where you could go for photos:
Show Off Your Venue
Are you getting married in a gorgeous old hotel or iconic historic building? Why not incorporate your wedding location into your save the dates to give your guests a little preview of what they can expect!
Incorporate Your Hobbies
What are you known for as a couple? Do your friends know you as the couple that tries new recipes and loves to cook together, that enters every triathlon, that wouldn’t miss a Saturday at the farmer’s market, that rides their scooters around town, that loves to try new wines whenever possible or that has been bitten by the travel bug? While you might not want a literal depiction of your hobby on your save the date, a nod to your interests is a fun way to show your personalities to your friends and family!
Celebrate Your City
Whether you grew up there or you’re a transplant, the city you call home with your sweetheart holds a special place in your hearts because it’s part of who you are as a couple! Staging your photos around a local icon or recognizable feature is a great idea, especially when a lot of your guests might be coming in from out of town. It’s a fun way to say, “This is our home and we can’t wait to welcome you!”
Head For The Country (Or Your Nearest Park)
There’s nothing quite like the peace and solitude of an unspoiled natural setting. Trees and landscapes make great backdrops for photos, and when the light is juuuust right, it can be truly magical! If you’re a couple that loves the outdoors and wants to keep it simple, you’ll find that even near a big city there can be pockets of nature that will inspire the romantic in you! Here in Florida we have plenty of beaches and gorgeous trees…but if we had mountains, I’d definitely be heading that way, too!
A word of caution: it’s easy to go Pinterest-crazy, jumping from idea to adorable idea and wanting to do it all! But really…if you’ve never been in a rowboat, don’t spend time together on the water, and in fact you hate being out on the water, then it makes no sense to plan a rowboat engagement shoot. Just sayin’. 😉 But if you love cooking together, or riding bikes, or spending time outdoors…whatever your thing is….embrace it!! The most important thing is to make sure your surroundings make sense for you as a couple!
There are so many fun ways to announce your wedding, it can be overwhelming to try and pick your favorite! Signs and props are a cute way to get your message across, but try to keep it simple. Too many words on a sign, small or elaborate lettering or too many props can backfire. (Who’s going to carry those 50 balloons, 100 sparklers, picnic blanket, and giant foam finger across the city park and hold them while you’re trying to reapply your lipstick?) 😛
If you and your sweetheart have a furry kid that means just as much in your relationship as you do to each other, then you might want to consider bringing your pet along for a few photos, too! More and more couples are bringing their pets along to their engagement sessions, which we think is super fun! (You’ll just want to make sure you have an extra pair of helping hands to take your pup home once their part of the shoot is done.)
Choose Your Clothing
First and foremost, wear something that you’re comfortable in and is YOU! Don’t buy an entirely new outfit the night before you take your photos, unless you have a backup option. Wear something you feel good in and compliments your features. We never…ever….think it looks good to wear the exact same thing. You and your partner most likely don’t go through life wearing identical clothing, so why would you want to do that in photos? Wear color coordinated clothing in a similar style: formal wear with formal, casual with casual, etc. Don’t be afraid of layers, colors and accessories!
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your save the date photo! It doesn’t have to be a picture of the two of you looking right at the camera. Run down the beach, jump in the lake, look for a unique angle or something interesting going on around you. The possibilities are endless!
Choose Your Design
Depending on the design you choose, you might need to make sure you have plenty of negative space in your image. (In art terms, negative space is the empty or open space around an object.) If you wanted to place your text and image all on one side of the card, you’ll need negative space over which you’ll place your text. That way nothing will be covering your faces! When you take your photos, be sure to get a good mix of nice, closeup shots and wide open shots that leave space for your design elements. Covering your bases and getting a wide variety of shots during your engagement session means less stress later when you’re picking out your favorites for your save the date cards.
Relax, Have Fun & Don’t Stress It
In the end, the most important thing is the two of you and your love for each other! Don’t stress about your photos…just relax, have a blast, cuddle, kiss & remember why you’re taking these photos in the first place! If you’re having a good time, it will show in your photos. Your guests will love any photo you choose to send them, so pick the one that makes you smile every time you see it. We guarantee it will make them smile, too!
It might be April 1st, but no joke…Dana & Tyler’s wedding just a couple weeks ago was amazing!! Congratulations, Mr & Mrs Bannon!! We are so excited to share these images from your wedding day!
Since they had booked their wedding online after phone conversations, we met Jenny and John for the first time in person at their engagement session at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. (Well, first we passed each other at the garden’s visitor’s center not knowing who each other was, but then we found each other about 20 min later for proper introductions and all was good!) What struck us the most about this super awesome couple was their laughter! Their smiles didn’t fade once during their whole session…..their happiness was contagious! It’s so apparent that they love spending time with each other and they make each other SO happy. Seriously, how cute is Jenny!? I love her laugh! And the way John looks at Jenny is so loving and sweet, it’s no wonder he stole her heart!
We started off in the orange grove at Pinewood Estate and then made our way to a gorgeous field with an amazing sunset view, Bok Tower in the background. What a perfect way to end our photo shoot! We can’t wait to return there to make more memories with Jenny and John on their wedding day this October. Congratulations, you guys!!
I’m still in awe of how stunning Amira is…what a gorgeous bride! I’m so happy for her and Danny, and we are so excited to share this tiny glimpse of their beautiful wedding day!
In honor of Jen and Brian’s big day coming up this Saturday (CONGRATS, YOU TWO!!!) we wanted to show off how completely adorable they are together and share some images from their engagement session earlier this year! Seriously….how cute are they!? We wish we looked this great paddle boarding!! 😉
Two Don Cesar sneak peeks in one day! We are shooting some great weddings at the Don this fall so expect a whole bunch more! Tiffany and Kevin were married earlier this month and I am so excited to share a sneak of their day! More coming soon!